Global Girls’ School Conference focusses on how best to educate girls… | Portsmouth High School

Global Girls’ School Conference focusses on how best to educate girls…

Last week I was in New York speaking at a Global Girls’ School conference which attracted over 1000 delegates.

It was a privilege and honour to attend and I heard some inspirational speakers talking about how best to educate girls including the feminist Gloria Steinem, well known for saying “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle”. At over eighty years old she looks decades younger and speaks still with eloquence and a passion for female rights. She said that she still had her torch shining a light in areas of the world where women are oppressed and victims of violence – the problem she said is that there is only one torch and little wonder then as a world we can’t see where we are going.

Baroness Sue Campbell spoke of the need for resilience in girls and she gave many inspirational examples from sport where women have succeeded against adversity and with perseverance. She said “It doesn’t matter if you fall down 7 times as long as you get up 8” and schools have a responsibility to help pupils to rise again after setbacks and knocks.

My own talk centred around our thinking skills programme in school – Sophia and Athene. I outlined our rationale for setting time aside to develop in our pupils an ability to think in a more profound and deeper way. Our girls are able to analyse critically information to make judgements that are well considered. Being able to think of alternative solutions and quickly enables our girls to accept that there is not always one correct answer. My international audience were genuinely interested in how we implement our lessons as the problem of finding time in the curriculum for non examined subjects is faced by many other countries.

Furthermore during the week I was struck by how in other countries single sex schools are much more the norm and the benefits of educating girls and boys separately widely accepted.

My best wishes for a good half term and a chance for some rest and relaxation.